This weekend, Catholic bishops informed parishioners of the recent White House edict forcing religious hospitals, schools, charities and other health and social service providers to provide "free" abortifacient pills, sterilizations and contraception on demand in their insurance plans -- even if it violates their moral consciences and the teachings of their churches.
NARAL, NOW, Ms. Magazine and the Feminist Majority Foundation all cheered the administration's abuse of the Obamacare law to ram abortion down pro-life medical professionals' throats. Femme dinosaur Eleanor Smeal gloated over the news that the administration had rejected church officials' pleas for compromises: "At last," she exulted, the left's goal of "no-cost birth control" for all had been achieved.
As always, tolerance is a one-way street in the Age of Obama. "Choice" is in the eye (and iron fist) of the First Amendment usurper.
Like the rising number of states who have revolted against the individual health care mandate at the ballot box and in the courts, targeted Catholics have risen up against the Obamacare regime. Arlington (Va.) Bishop Paul Loverde didn't mince words, calling the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services order "a direct attack against religious liberty. This ill-considered policy comprises a truly radical break with the liberties that have underpinned our nation since its founding." Several bishops vowed publicly to fight the mandate.
Bishop Alexander Sample of Marquette, Mich., asserted plainly: "We cannot -- we will not -- comply with this unjust law."
It's not just rabid right-wing politicos defying the Obama machine. Pro-life Democratic Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania denounced the "wrong decision." Left-leaning Bishop Robert Lynch threatened "civil disobedience" in St. Petersburg, Fla., over the power grab. Lefty Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne wrote that Obama "botched" the controversy and "threw his progressive Catholic allies under the bus" by refusing to "balance the competing liberty interests here."
White House press secretary Jay Carney blithely denied on Tuesday that "there are any constitutional rights issues" involved in the brewing battle. Yet, the Shut Up and Hand Out Abortion Pills order undermines a unanimous Supreme Court ruling issued just last week upholding a religious employer's right to determine whom to hire and fire. And two private colleges have filed federal suits against the government to overturn the unconstitutional abortion coverage decree.
Hannah Smith, senior counsel at the nonprofit law firm The Becket Fund, which is representing the schools, boiled it down for Bloomberg News: "This is not really about access to contraception. The mandate is about forcing these religious groups to pay for it against their beliefs."
How did we get here? The first salvo came in December 2010, when the American Civil Liberties Union pushed HHS and its Planned Parenthood-championing secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, to force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions in violation of their core moral commitment to protecting the lives of the unborn.
The ACLU called for a litigious fishing expedition against Catholic hospitals nationwide that refuse to provide "emergency" contraception and abortions to women. In their sights: Devout Phoenix Catholic Bishop Thomas Olmsted, who revoked the Catholic status of a rogue hospital that performed several direct abortions, provided birth control pills and presided over sterilizations against the church's ethical and religious directives for health care.
The ACLU and the feminists have joined with Obama to threaten and sabotage the First Amendment rights of religious-based health care entities. The agenda is not increased "access" to health care services. The ultimate goal is to shut down health care providers -- Catholic health care institutions employ about 540,000 full-time workers and 240,000 part-time workers -- whose religious views cannot be tolerated by secular zealots and radical social engineers.
Is it any surprise their counterparts in the "Occupy" movement have moved from protesting "Wall Street" to harassing pro-life marchers in Washington, D.C., and hurling condoms at Catholic school girls in Rhode Island? Birds of a lawless, bigoted feather bully together.
Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies" (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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